Responses

  1. hi, giuseppe!….a few thoughts and questions: (1) how old is your bull mastiff pup? (2) spayed or not? (best not to spay ’til at least one estrus. bec. if u neuter too soon it has negative physical as well as psychological effects. the evidence is not 100%, but that seems to be the consensus of researchers as well as trainers; (3) are you doing 3-5 brief (10-15 minutes, approx) training sessions per day rather than one long one? That might be hard to do, but it’s better for the puppy. Puppies have very short attention spans. (4) what is the puppy doing before each training session? has she just eaten, so maybe she’s not so enthusiastic for your treats? are you using high value treats? have you considered feeding her during training? in other words, doling out her regular food as part of training? a lot of trainers do that with a lot of dogs. it also can prevent potential food guarding issues. (5) a lot of trainers crate the dog between/before training sessions. that way, the dog is more enthusiastic to do stuff, because they haven’t been physically active for a while. (6) if your dog’s not fully potty trained, have you made sure to take her out to pee / poop if your training session is at a time you think she might have to pee / poop? (7) puppies have short attention spans, so you have to make yourself interesting but not intimidating. they react to quickly to movement, the sound of your voice, stuff like that, so if the pup’s not too tired, you can re-engage her by your movement and voice, and then do some more training once you have her attention. (8) have you done some luring games with her? does she know how to follow a lure, enthusuiastically, in all different directions? what about chasing games and tug games, if she’s old enough, teeth wise?………….good luck and have fun!

  2. more questions: did you charge the positive reinforcement marker (‘Good. Girl!)? have you made coming to you when you say her name fun. by backing up, getting her to run to you and praising her……this all might seem irrelevant to ‘training’ (stuff like sit, down, stand, leave it wait, etc) but to train stuff like that you first need your dog’s enthusiastic attention. another question: are your treats pencil-eraser sized and chewy or, maybe even better, are you using her regular food as the reward during traininng…..my apologies if i’m telling you stuff you already know…….but attention/relationship/leadership/awareness of age-specific attention span are necessary preconditions for obedience training. theresa’s phase 1 vids are a great resource, btw